(Excerpt from Tales From Heritage Farm)
Brilliant pink and subdued rose washed the eastern sky as the twitter of the first morning bird began her melody. The warbling broke the silence of the night and dulled the zinging of the cricket’s chatter. A hush fell on the drone of the frogs down at the pond. A new dawn was breaking.
Frieda tried to turn her back to the rush of noise that aroused her. She covered her ears under her own wing and then, “Cock-a-doodle-doo———— —God-is-good-to-you———————!” broke into her consciousness again. She winced at how loudly the rooster, Maximillian, was crowing.
Roosting in the hen house had grown to be a rather cozy arrangement, snuggling up to feathers on all sides. Lights went out when the sun went down, only to return as the sun did each morning.
It was hard work scratching out a living each day. Twice a day the farmer visited her to replenish her water supply and fill her trough with fresh grain to peck at and consume. Even with his grain delivery, Frieda scratched and pecked most of the day (except when she tried to sleep in late on a lumpy bed of straw.)
“Honestly, Frieda,” said Hildy from the perch beside her. “That rooster must think he is God’s gift to chickens. What a conceited blow hard!”
“Oh, I don’t know, Hildy. He seems pretty normal to me.” With that Frieda hopped from her roost, ruffled her feathers and straightened them. Up she jumped onto a nest that the farmer had supplied. Making a few turns to find a comfortable spot, she finally nestled herself on the clean straw.
“Now, what’s bothering you today, Hildy? There must be something.”
Sketch by Wenda Grabau